The Story: God does not run on the world’s schedule; He is not obliged to “do His thing” in the ways unbelieving scoffers think He should. But that’s not Peter’s main point here. Rather, he wants us to consider whether we are running on God’s schedule and according to God’s purpose for the world. God’s will is not frustrated simply because unbelievers reject the Gospel. He loves even His enemies, as we know, and His desire is that all might come to repentance and believe the Gospel. Only slowly and gradually does God “give up” unbelievers to the sin that results from their folly and scoffing (Rom. 1.18-32). Otherwise, His Spirit strives with men, to convince them to seek Him while they may (Gen. 6.3). Our role in this is to walk in the Spirit as one of the agents through whom He strives with men. When we are filled with the Spirit, His power will work in us to make us witnesses for Christ (Acts 1.8). In such a way, some, at least, might “come to repentance” and be saved. But only when we are following God’s schedule and purpose, and not that of the world or our own hearts.
The Structure: Ask yourself: Are you willing for the people in your own sphere of influence to perish without hearing the Gospel? Neither is God. He wants all people to hear the Gospel and, as it pleases Him, to reach repentance. But how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? (Rom. 10.14, 15) Peter knows that the Lord loves even the scoffers and is patient in delaying His judgment so that some of them might come to know His precious and very great promises in Jesus Christ. He is counseling and sending us to be as loving and patient as God is toward even those who scoff at us.
How would your daily life change if you went into each day with the mindset of one “sent” to proclaim the Good News?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Blind to the Truth: 2 Peter 3.1-10,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.